SMC Gaels
Saint Mary'es College Athletics

Women's Tennis

Catherine Isip, right, and Audrey Leitz will take the court Friday for the Gaels.
Catherine Isip, right, and Audrey Leitz will take the court Friday for the Gaels.
WTEN | Gaels Begin Hunt For WCC Tourney Title
Release: Sunday 04/25/2013 
by SMC Athletics

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's women's tennis team had the option this week of resting on the laurels of a regular season that saw the Gaels finish atop the West Coast Conference standings.

That wasn't the case for a hungry group from Moraga, and Saint Mary's will take the court in the semifinals of the WCC Championships on Friday with one clear goal: win two more matches.

The Gaels head to the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego as the No. 1 seed, having finished 7-1 and in a three-way tie with Pepperdine and Santa Clara to finish the regular season. Ranked No. 40 in the country, Saint Mary's got the top seed due to being the highest-ranked team of the three.

While all are considered WCC champions, there is only one way to ensure a trip to the NCAA Tournament -- win this weekend.

Saint Mary's will play the winner of Thursday's match between No. 4 San Diego and No. 5 San Francisco. Both the Toreros and Dons won on Wednesday to advance to Thursday's quarterfinals.

The Gaels last played on April 14, defeating Loyola Marymount 4-3 to wrap up the regular season. That put a cap on a season that saw Saint Mary's defeat No. 7-ranked Stanford, along with four other ranked teams. SMC finished the regular season with a 12-8 overall record.

Up and down the lineup, every Gaels player has had a moment to shine. Jenny Jullien has led the way at No. 1 singles, earning WCC Player of the Month honors for three straight months. She enters the postseason with a 16-5 spring record and a No. 23 national ranking.

Five Gaels finished the regular season with a winning record in the spring. Senior team captain Catherine Isip has been strongest in WCC play, going 7-1 in conference while playing at No. 2.

Isip has also been a doubles wizard, going a combined 13-5 this spring with two different partners. She remains ranked nationally (No. 78) with Elizabeth Searl, but switched partners in the conference season and has gone 5-0 when paired with Audrey Leitz.